Tag Archives: students

Mentor Spotlight: Chasity L.

“Working with students at icouldbe.org is truly a blessing! I feel that the work I do with them is more than just an assignment, it is a way to pass on information that could impact the rest of their life. More importantly, every email and every interaction that I have with each of my wonderful mentees is an opportunity to let them know there is someone out there who cares about them, who cares about their future, their well-being, and what is going on in their everyday life.

Every young person is impressionable and we have the ability to be a good example for them during this challenging part of growing up. It is so rewarding to have my mentees thank me for the time I give and tell me how important I am to them. Giving our time to others is one of the most special ways we can let them know how much we care.

Another reason I love being a mentor on icouldbe.org is because they make it possible for mentors to reach students all across America through their unique and brilliant use of technology!

“For while they are the youth of today, they shall be the leaders of tomorrow” -John F. Kennedy “

Mentor Spotlight: Christopher P.

It is truly my privilege to work with icouldbe.org. I believe that today’s youth should be provided with as much information about opportunities as possible.  At this stage in their lives, just about anything is possible.  I try to convey that to them while providing some insight from my past experiences.  I want them to understand that life is not necessarily easy or always fun.  However, they will succeed as long as they are working towards a goal and that each accomplishment opens doors to other opportunities.  My favorite quote by Joel Osteen summarizes my approach to mentoring, “If you can see the obstacles, then you have lost sight of your goals.”

Mentor Spotlight: Summer O.

I’ve always been interested in mentoring, but working in the advertising industry it’s hard to commit to being available at the same time – on the same day – for a long period of time. And all the other mentoring programs I looked into before icouldbe.org required that type of time commitment.

Then I was watching President Obama’s inauguration speech a few years ago and something he said about giving back to our communities and making a commitment to make the world a better place really struck a cord with me. I couldn’t sit by any longer, so I searched for a program that would give me an opportunity to give back through mentoring yet still work with my unpredictable schedule. And that’s when I found icouldbe.org. It’s the perfect fit. And I have to say that working with these kids inspires and teaches me so much, that being a part of this program is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. :)

Mentor Spotlight: Sandy C.

Hi, my name is Sandi and I’m an excited new mentor with icouldbe.org!  While I’ve only been a mentor for one semester so far, I know there are many more semesters ahead given how much I’ve already gained from the experience.

I am working with three mentees who all have very different personalities and unique ways of approaching their assignments.  The one thing that they all have in common is a determination to be the best they can be.  While getting to know my mentees, and as they get to know me, I discovered that we have something in common. I, like they, came from at-risk neighborhoods and schools, but had a great family, friend and teacher support system to tap into and discover that I had as great a potential to succeed as anyone else.  I am hoping my experiences and “rear view mirror” perspective will be as useful to my mentees as my own mentors’ caring and personal experiences were to my success.

Having worked in a corporate enviornment now for three decades and always deferring mentoring because I never seemed able to find the time, I am thrilled that e- mentoring is not only a possibility but also a great way to connect with students.  In the short time I have been mentoring, it’s obvious that although my mentees and I have never met in person, we are getting to know each other and building relationships that are as rich as if we were sitting across a table from each other.

President Obama proclaims January ‘Mentoring Month’

President Obama recently released a proclamation designating January as National Mentoring Month. In the official statement, he stressed the importance of a mentor’s influence on America’s youth, and recaps the latest progress of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Corporate Mentoring Challenge.

Here is an excerpt from the statement:

“Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into adulthood.  By setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge, and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing our Nation’s youth for a bright future.  During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation, and we recommit to expanding mentorship opportunities across our country.

At school and at home, in the library and on the field, mentors lift our youth toward their goals and ambitions.  As a teacher, a relative, or a trusted friend, a mentor’s steady and dependable support can inspire a child to strive for success and instill in them the confidence to achieve their full potential.  Mentorship strengthens our American family, and by teaching enduring values like diligence and self-discipline, we make a powerful and lasting investment in our youth, our communities, and our Nation.”

We couldn’t agree more.

For the full proclamation, click here.

Happy Mentoring Month!

What better month than January, a time of fresh starts and new beginnings, to celebrate the power of mentoring? That’s right – it’s National Mentoring Month! Every January, the nation recognizes the importance of mentors and the impact that mentoring can have on today’s youth. It also serves as a call-to-action for new volunteers to join in on the mentoring movement.

All month long, we’ll be setting new goals, sharing stories from mentors and students, and attending events – so follow along with us on our website, here on our blog, and on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

There are a few special events planned for the month. Here’s a quick list:

January 11 – I am a Mentor Social Media Day

Check out this event on Facebook to find out more about how you can share your mentoring stories and celebrate Mentoring Month.

January 24-25 – National Mentoring Summit, Washington D.C.

We will be attending this event, live tweeting and posting about our experience there. Here is a link with more information on the summit. Later in the month, we’ll update you on how you can join in the conversation.

January 26 – Thank your Mentor Day

This is a great day to recognize and thank a mentor in your life. We’ll be sharing stories from students with icouldbe.org mentors, as well as posting a special thank you from our executive director. Here’s a link with ideas for how to celebrate.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to see us talk about this month?  If so let us know!

Ari Merretazon knows What It Takes

Recently, we posted about the new e-mentoring program from What it Takes. This program is using the icouldbe.org online mentoring platform to pair 200 ninth grade black boys in Philadelphia with successful e-mentors.  We are interviewing several e-mentors who have already signed up for this program, to find out their inspiration for becoming a mentor and a little bit more on their backgrounds.

Ari Merretazon volunteered as an e-mentor for the What It Takes foundation because he believes his life experiences are a valuable teaching tool, and he wants to engage young African American youth in order to provide the support they need to dream big and begin to realize those dreams . Ari is looking forward to offering advice about the opportunities and challenges—both small and large— that Philadelphia youth face.

Ari is a community economic development practitioner from Philadelphia. He has served as development team leader of the Faith-Based Community Economic Development Initiative, School of Community Executive Economic Development, and Southern New Hampshire University and continues to serve as a guest presenter for the Faith-Based CED course. He is a White House Honoree, presented under President Jimmy Carter and is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran.

“I have had life experiences that young men will undoubtedly encounter and I hope to prevent them from being mishandled,” says Merretazon. “The most rewarding part of mentoring is transferring knowledge and experiences to youth to help them contribute to society in a meaningful way.”

Ari has previously mentored through the Rightful Passage program, where he used email as a mentoring tool, but this is his first experience with the icouldbe.org e-mentoring platform. Always busy and on-the-go, he’s looking forward to a way to give back to students on a regular basis through such a convenient, online program.

Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This week we’re giving thanks for our mentors, our mentees and the incredible number of icouldbe.org supporters. Without you, we wouldn’t be here!

What are you thankful for this year?


Photo credits:
Thanksgiving. November 27, 2008 clairity on Flickr.com Creative Commons

Lisa’s Mentoring Story: 3 years and counting

My name is Lisa and I have been mentoring with icouldbe.org since February 2008.  My hopes when joining icouldbe.org were to help someone.  I always wanted to go out and volunteer, but just felt I never had the time.  I learned about icouldbe.org through one of Oprah’s shows.  Oprah was suggesting ways that people could become more involved in their community, and something inside me knew this was the perfect place for me!  What could be better than helping someone in an online setting, meaning I wouldn’t have to be at a specific place at a certain time? icouldbe.org gave me the opportunity to help someone from the comfort of my own home. At the time I applied, I was working outside of home, but knew eventually my goal was to be my own boss and work from home.  icouldbe.org allows me to both work and mentor from home any time of the day!

Almost three-and-a-half years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive an email back from a mentee named Daisy.  Little did I know that I was about to be blessed by a girl whom I’d never met before, seen or knew anything about.  It was in our second email via icouldbe.org when she began to guide me on how to use the site, what to expect and how I could help her. From the beginning we had so much in common.  One of our common interests was our faith.  We are both very committed to our faith and from there it was a friendship that I knew would last a lifetime. That year I mentored her and answered her questions about college, life outside the walls of high school and finding a career that would suit her and make her happy.  I gave her advice that I wished I’d had from someone I could trust to avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.

Even though I was correcting her icouldbe.org assignments, we would still email throughout that first year, talking about life and friends. Our friendship blossomed quickly and our trust grew such that she wasn’t just getting help with her schoolwork, but was opening up and letting me into her heart, and what her hurts and hopes were.  We still continued to email throughout the summer and throughout her last year in high school.

That next year we both experienced personal tragedies and were able to offer each other support. It was wonderful to know that we were always there for each other. Daisy and I had experienced and shared so much of ourselves that it was second nature, even after she graduated. We continued to stay in touch even though she was not part of the icouldbe.org program anymore.

My mentoring relationship started with Daisy almost three-and-a-half years ago and I have been blessed with the opportunity to “virtually” mentor Daisy. Daisy and I have emailed each other on icouldbe.org about how great it would be to meet after she turns 18.  Now that she is, icouldbe.org is helping us to make contact and my hope is that we will meet someday soon!  icouldbe.org has far exceeded my expectations; not only was I able to help someone, but in return I received a lifelong friend. Thank you icouldbe.org!!!

icouldbe.org to be featured in a Groupon fundraising campaign!

We are excited to announce that Groupon, the popular daily deals and discounts site, has selected icouldbe.org for a fundraising campaign! The campaign will run from Tuesday, November 1st to Thursday, November 3rd.

Groupon’s philanthropic arm G-Team is a community outreach initiative within Groupon that brings communities together to do good, have fun, and make an impact. G-Team has been working in New York City to help mission-driven organizations like ours raise money and raise awareness, channeling the collective buying power of Groupon followers and our local supporters.

Our campaign will run in New York City beginning Tuesday, November 1st through Thursday. November 3rd. Our goal is to raise $650 to complete our fundraising goal in New York and bring our mentoring program to a New York City high school classroom in need. Any additional funds raised will go towards an additional classroom.

Stay tuned next week for another post on our blog (and look for posts on Facebook and Twitter, too) with more information and a link to the live fundraising campaign. We hope that you and others choose to CLICK and donate $10 or more to help bring an online mentoring program to a New York City high school classroom in need.

Thank you to all who are able to donate or share this offer with your network of friends and family!